Gandhis, all of them:
From Britain's Telegraph comes Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges;
Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.
On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen's biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the "summit to save the world", which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.
"We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention," she says. "But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report."
Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."
And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? "Five," says Ms Jorgensen. "The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don't have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it's very Danish."
The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers. . .
. . . Many of the participants do not really need to be here. And far from "saving the world," the world's leaders have already agreed that this conference will not produce any kind of binding deal, merely an interim statement of intent.
Instead of swift and modest reductions in carbon – say, two per cent a year, starting next year – for which they could possibly be held accountable, the politicians will bandy around grandiose targets of 80-per-cent-plus by 2050, by which time few of the leaders at Copenhagen will even be alive, let alone still in office.
Even if they had agreed anything binding, past experience suggests that the participants would not, in fact, feel bound by it. Most countries – Britain excepted – are on course to break the modest pledges they made at the last major climate summit, in Kyoto.
Let us remember there really was much angst about global cooling 3 decades ago. We need to think globally about the environment. Going largely vegetarian would be a huge, sustainable environmental win, not to mention the health benefits. Soybeans, not caviar or steak, should be prominent in Copenhagen this month.
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